Bollywood blockbusters revive overseas box office | spcilvly

New Delhi: Overseas markets, facing post-covid19 challenges despite promising signs in the domestic film industry, are witnessing a welcome resurgence with recent hits like Jawan, Jailer and Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani touching the heartstrings of diaspora audiences. thanks to the mass-market appeal of films.

Rocky Aur Rani surpassed the $21 million mark in overseas markets, attracting audiences in the UK, Middle East and Canada, while Jawan earned over $22 million, setting new records in Australia and the Gulf region .

“Overseas markets are definitely improving, along with Indian business, but this is only for big star films. Post-Covid, even foreign audiences have become selective,” says film distributor and exhibitor Sunny Khanna.

The preferences of diaspora audiences are evident: they prefer films starring popular stars and continue to appreciate singing and dancing, although there is a growing preference for high-end urban narratives.

For example, the period drama Gadar 2, which had crossed the $500 crore in the Indian market, giving life to single screens in small towns, had only earned $2.1 million ( $18.03 crore) during its first weekend abroad.

The film that resonated with mass audiences in India due to its emotional storytelling technique, did not find favor with viewers in overseas markets looking for premium fare.

Trade experts said family entertainers have been appreciated by diaspora audiences and they favor films like Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, which offer them the right dose of songs, dances, colors and culture as well as star faces. The public is not looking for experiments and needs guarantees of having a good time in the rooms. In North America and Canada, it will be the fifth highest-grossing film ever, after Pathaan, Jawan, Dangal and Padmaavat, with, say, $10.65 million. In the UK, it is likely to rank 8th with earnings of £2.42 million (~$3 million).

Three of the eight biggest Indian films in the British market, along with Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, have been directed by Johar. Rocky Aur Rani continues to run on 20 screens in the UK for its tenth week. In the Gulf, it should gross nearly $4.25 million, or double the earnings any Indian film other than Pathaan and Jawan has made there post-pandemic. The other major market, Australia, should finish with collections of A$1.82 million ($1.20 million).

Along with Hindi, Punjabi and Telugu films are popular among the Indian working class population in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and the Middle East. Film producer, trade and exhibition expert Girish Johar estimated that around 80-85% of the Indian film business had picked up overseas, but the fact that audiences seem selective and the rejection rate is high, is equally valid for Hollywood movies. “The foreign audience is quite intelligent, they like glamor but they also like films to be a bit polished,” Johar said.

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Updated: October 8, 2023, 10:55 pm IST

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